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Tuesday Tip

Tuesday, 31 March 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

Today's hot tip comes from my first TM consultant, from when I bought my second hand TM from her, many years ago. Is that enough "from's" in one sentence?

Anyway, if you cook with turmeric in your Thermomix your lid will most likely end up like this-

And all you need to do to get rid of the stain is to pop the lid out in the sun for a couple of hours and this will be the result. Like it never happened!

So yesterday I tried this trick for my Dyson vacuum cleaner-WHY, I hear you ask. Well, I dropped a whole big jar of turmeric in the pantry a couple of weeks ago and after using the vacuum to clean up the mess, this is the result-

Did it work?

I think it's a slight improvement! 

Have a lovely day,

Three Years Ago-A New Beginning 

Easy and Delicious Chickpea Curry-Thermomix Style

Monday, 30 March 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

There must be thousands of different kinds of chickpea curries, I'm sure all of them are delicious but making this one in the TM makes it super quick and easy as well. It is ready in about 30 minutes and when accompanied with all the usual things curries like to seen out with, such as steamed rice, chutney, yoghurt, papadums and finely sliced green chilli, makes for a totally yummy dinner.

I buy my chickpeas in bulk from Simply Good and cook them all at once in the slow cooker, then portion them up into 250 gram lots and freeze them down until needed. Using this method I find you end up with a lovely plump and soft, but not too mushy chickpea. The 250 grams equates to a drained 400 gram can of chickpeas.

I love that this recipe doesn't have too many ingredients, just everyday spices and pantry staples and you have a divinely golden red-yellow hued curry with so much flavour and a wonderful texture. With minimal cooking time, you end up with a great combination of a soft, almost creamy sauce dotted with smaller pieces of chickpeas. You can please yourself how much chilli you add or you could completely omit it if cooking for young ones in your family, there would still be so much flavour without the heat.

I have cooked this chickpea curry twice in two weeks, it's that good. Easy, quick and totally delicious! Make it today.

Ingredients for Easy and Delicious Chickpea Curry, clockwise from left-500 grams of cooked chickpea or 2 x 400 gram cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed, 1 teaspoon or more or dried chilli flakes (easily omitted) 1 can of diced tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 10 grams of turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 1/2 teaspoons Garam Marsala, 50 grams of sultanas, 2 good sized knobs of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped, 2 cloves garlic, peeled and 1 red onion, peeled and quartered.

Melt 20 grams of butter with 20 grams of oil for 3 minutes/Varmoma/speed 2 then add the cumin and fennel seeds. Cook for 1 minute/Varoma/speed 1

Now add the prepared red onion, ginger and garlic 

Blitz for 5 seconds/speed 7

Next add the can of tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, coriander, turmeric, chilli and Garam Marsala 

And cook for 10 minutes/100 C/speed 2

Scrape down the sides of the TM bowl and finally add the chickpeas and sultanas and cook again for 10 minutes/100 C/speed 1

Decant into a serving bowl 

And serve with chutney, sliced green chilli, yoghurt and papadums 

Have a lovely day,

Three Years Ago-No Blog Post Today 
Four Years Ago-What we ate this week 

Sunny Side Up Sunday

Sunday, 29 March 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

Today I am grateful that our bulk goods shop, Simply Good, was not only open but fully stocked with what we needed yesterday. The lovely owner welcomed us like old friends, politely pointed out the plastic gloves we were to use on the scooping hand, weighed our jars for us and let us do the rest. She did tell us that she didn't know how long the government would let us bring in our jars from home for filling with bulk items as Victoria and New South Wales has already banned their use. Hopefully that won't happen as that is the main reason I buy from there, to prevent single use plastic from coming into our home.

What are you grateful for today?

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday 
Two Years Ago-Mexican Potatoes
Three Years Ago-No Blog Post Today
Four Years Ago-The Best Roast Potatoes 


What we bought, spent and ate this week

Saturday, 28 March 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

As I mentioned yesterday our shopping and eating habits have not changed as yet, even with the supermarkets being wiped out of some basic groceries. The only items we couldn't buy this week was a can of borlotti beans for a new recipe I am making tomorrow and powdered milk that I use for our homemade yoghurt, I'm not going to worry yet, hopefully we will be able to pick up some other kind of pulse today at the GCFO and while we are up that way I will call into a supermarket to see if there is any powdered milk.

Can I ask, was there anything you couldn't buy this week?

We have council elections that end today, LH and I went and voted on Tuesday afternoon and were in and out in less than 5 minutes with only two, social distancing, attendants, there was probably only 5 other voters there at the time, which was very late in the afternoon, so it was easy to keep our distance. It was so wonderful not to have pamphlets thrust into your hands, I hope they learn something from this!

I will keep it short and sweet today as I have quite the day ahead of me and I've slept in this morning, here is what we bought, spent and ate this week-

What we bought

The Aldi Shop

A few items from Coles, the bottle of Eureka water soluble Eucalyptus oil is the only kind of Eucalyptus oil LH has been able to find in weeks. The Nori is for his tropical fish, they go bonkers for it!

Fruit and veg from The Northside Discount Fruit Barn, LH stocked up on sweet potato as they were only 29 cents a kilo!

What we spent 
Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$17.79

What we ate

Friday-Leftovers-Butternut Pumpkin Macaroni Cheese 

Saturday-Meat Pie with Herby Mashed Potato and Nigellas Upmarket Mushy Peas 

Sunday-Fish Burgers 

Monday-LH had the rest of the meat pie and veggies and I had smashed avo on toast with the last of the smoked salmon that I had bought for our weekend breakfasts last week, plus a perfect egg. 

Tuesday-Prawn Stir Fry 

Wednesday-Tempura Whiting, steamed Basmati rice with choy sum

Thursday-Chickpea Curry, again, it is such a simple and delicious curry, I will be posting this recipe on Monday 

What was on your family table this week?

Have a lovely day,

Three Years Ago-No Blog Post Today 


This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Friday, 27 March 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

It seems a bit trivial to do a post like this when the world is experiencing a pandemic but, as with my life, I will also try to keep this blog as "normal" as possible. My everyday life, so far, hasn't been affected, I still go to work everyday, I still make bread, yoghurt and muesli, I still pack my lunch everyday for work and make sure all leftovers are used up in a timely manner. We still menu plan and shop only to the list, we haven't bought any extra food and so far have been able to buy what we need.

That doesn't mean that me as a person hasn't been affected, I'm stressed, worried about what might be, I'm not sleeping well and seem to have a constant headache, this may be my new normal and I'm sure that every one is feeling the same way. We all just need to roll with the punches for the next little while, be adaptable and keep a level head.

On Saturday we plan to go to Simply Good to stock up on some bulk items, this is just our normal every 4 to 6 week visit, however I have a feeling a lot of what we plan to buy will be in short supply or completely sold out. I want to buy some bread flour, nuts, rolled oats, honey, spices, laundry liquid, dish washing liquid and hand wash, we'll just have to wait and see what the have in stock. We'll also pop into the Golden Circle Factory Outlet to see what they have that may come in handy. We only buy food that we like and use and try to buy good quality food as well. Again there may not be much left in this crazy time of over buying. We will practice social distancing, hand hygiene and will not tarry in the two shops for longer than we need to be there.

How has the shopping been in your area?

Now on with how we saved money this week-

1. Caught the warm up water in the shower to keep the figs out the front hydrated.

2. Made a wonderful soup out of a lack lustre butternut pumpkin, I roasted it along with some sweet potato to make this soup. We had it for lunch on Saturday, gave a big bowl of it along with some freshly made bread rolls to our daughter and her fiancรฉ and had the rest for a couple of my work lunches with buttered toast.

3. Line dried the washing.

4. Menu planned and bought only to the list, at the moment we are eating one meat based dish a week, with fish, prawns and pulse based meals making up the rest.

5. Watered the garden using our tank water.

Your turn, how did you save money during this unique and somewhat stressful time?

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-Thick and Creamy Vanilla Yoghurt in the Thermomix
Two Years Ago-Chads Bread with a Twist 
Three Years Ago-No Blog Post Today
Four Years Ago-Setting the Table

What's Happening in the Garden-March 2020

Thursday, 26 March 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

Not a lot is happening in the garden at the moment as the pumpkin vines are still going strong and in the last few weeks they have set another 4 baby pumpkins that are growing rapidly. I was going to cut off the 6 existing big pumpkins in a couple of weeks time but now, with some baby pumpkins needing to get to a bigger size first, I may not be able to pull out the vines till May. Next year we will only plant one pumpkin vine as two vines were too much for the space we have. Another gardening lesson learnt.

With the lovely rain we had recently the citrus trees are doing well, but I do need to get on top of the leaf curl, as gardeners will know you need to be constantly looking and checking your fruit trees for any signs of bugs or disease. Unfortunately I have left it a bit too long and now the leaf curl has taken over again.

With the citrus out the front I have purposely picked off any of the fruit that tried to set this growing season, as the trees are only young I want all the energy to go into growing big and strong before attempting for grow fruit. As hard as it will be I may even do it next year to ensure healthy mature fruit trees that are abundant.

On the plus side I have finally conquered the dreadful Cuban Laurel Thrip that had been infecting our Moreton Bay Fig Trees. When we got back from camping in February the infection was so bad that we decided to cut the figs back dramatically to try and eliminate this pest. Well, it finally worked, there are still a few and I'm only picking off a couple every week or so.

Here is some more photos of our garden in March-

Our Eureka Lemons are huge this year 

My favourite-Lemon Myrtle or Backhousia citriodora 

The sweet potatoes are doing well in the raised garden bed out the back 

Our "grown from seed" avocado tree, I don't know if it will ever bear fruit but hey it was a fun and free experiment 

One of the mature pumpkins almost ready to pick 

One new pumpkin on the left and one mature pumpkin on the right 

Lots of limes on the lime tree, the variety is Tahitian Lime 

What's growing in your garden at the moment?

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-That Time I bought Fresh Yeast, Chipotle Chillies and Bottled Water 
Two Years Ago-Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Bake
Three Years Ago-No Blog Post Today
Four Years Ago-My Easter Menu

Wednesday Roundup

Wednesday, 25 March 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

And welcome to another Wednesday Roundup where I do I brain dump of whats been happening around my home and some thoughts that are swirling around in my brain today.

Life is changing, every day I walk into work, I walk into something new, on Monday every room (consultation rooms, meeting rooms and the tea room) had a sign instructing only 2 people to be in that area at one time, then on Monday afternoon when I went for my 6 monthly dental checkup, there was a black line in front of reception indicating to stay behind the line, the assistant also took my health fund card at the end of the consultation with a gloved hand.

As you may know by now, I don't go out much, only to work, the hairdresser once a month and Simply Good and the Golden Circle Factory Outlet about every 4 to 6 weeks, so I really haven't seen first hand how our immediate world has changed. What and how has your life changed in the last little while?

Now on with the roundup-

On My Mind-

Little else than the Covid-19 Pandemic.

On the Breakfast Plate-

Our weekday breakfasts are always the same, homemade muesli with fruit and homemade vanilla yogurt. The fruit this week was fresh peaches, bananas, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Our weekend breakfast was smoked salmon on toast (this is the bread I made this week) with sour cream and capers topped with a perfect egg with a side of golden fried haloumi. I bought the smoked salmon and haloumi on Friday afternoon on the way home from work as a special weekend treat.

On My Reading Pile-

I have been reading this Australian Government Department of Health official Civid-19 website to keep up to date with the pandemic every morning.

On My TV-

I only watch the news at 6 pm then the TV is switched off

On the Menu This Week-

Favourite meal this past week was a fabulous Chickpea Curry, I am actually going to make it again this coming week and take step by step photos of it and post the recipe for you, I think it's a beaut little recipe.

From the Camera-

This was my walk into work on Monday. I choose to park in the back streets near the hospital instead of the temporary staff carpark as it is further away from where I park. This temporary carpark is being used as a new high rise car park is being built at the moment. I know I should just get back on my bike and ride from home, sometimes I have to park so far away I might as well walk from home.

Looking Around the House-

I am happy with what we have furniture wise, the only thing I would like to do is have our lovely old dining setting re-polished and reupholstered. Happily that will be happening soon. All the other furniture will see us out.

Housework I'm Not Looking Forward To Today or This Week-

I know I keep saying this one, but I really do need to make a start on cleaning the shutters, windows and security screens. After a long hot summer the security screens are full of dust as are the shutters. Maybe if I keep mentioning it on here I will actually do it!

Your turn, do a roundup of your life and I will post it on here-

On My Mind
On the Breakfast Plate
On My Reading Pile
On My TV
On the Menu This Week
From the Camera
Looking Around the House
Housework I'm Not Looking Forward To Today or This Week

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-Soft, Jumbo Wholemeal Rolls
Two Years Ago-Sunny Side Up Sunday 
Three Years Ago-No Blog Post Today
Four Years Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things and Things I am Grateful for this Good Friday 


Tuesday Tip-Readers Edition

Tuesday, 24 March 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

Today I thought I would do a roundup of all the wonderful household tips that readers have posted in response to the Tuesday Tip blog posts. In this uncertain and stressful times I think all of these tips will help to stretch the budget just a bit further and reduce the need to pop out to the supermarkets for just one item.

So, here's cheers and a big thank you to everyone that has contributed a tip to this page, you're all superstars!

Warm the almost empty bottle of cream in the microwave to get every last skerrick of cream out

Penny's Tips-

-When I make chocolate icing for a special cake ( like at Easter) I freeze the surplus.When you take it out and defrost it just needs a quick stir with a fork and it's ready to use - I just iced some little fairy cakes with the excess this week. My freezer is such a help in the fight against waste and staying frugal.

-I pour the remains of a bottle of wine( when there's some left!) into ice cube trays, freeze then bag up. When I make a casserole I take a couple of wine cubes and pop in the slow cooker along with everything else.

-When my Mum was very ill and the armpits of her clothes/ nighties smelt unpleasant I soaked those areas in vinegar before putting them through the wash as usual. Worked really well.

-When I poach eggs in our moulded poach cups I spray the inside lightly with cooking spray and the poached eggs slide out easily and cleanly. Saves a few calories over melting butter in them too.

-Sticking with the fruit theme we put half grapefruit shells in the garden upside down and they act as little shelters for slugs overnight. They can then be removed and disposed of.

-I find plain natural yoghurt so useful and substitute it for lots of things, particularly in cakes to replace some butter or margarine, in sauces which call for mayo, or instead of cream or cream cheese. I rarely rush off to buy a particular spice or herb I just use what I have.

Use the butter wrapper to grease your baking tin
Maria's Tips

-Snap! I love the tip you have shared today. Recently we also had to think of a way to prevent Chipotle in Adobo Sauce going to waste. The meal delivery service we are using while my hand heals, sends 40g pouches of this ingredient for some of the meals. The sauce is hotter than my family enjoys so we only use about half a tablespoon each time. We put the remainder still in its pouch into the freezer. It freezes really well ready for the next spicy meal.

Blitzed Chipotle in Adobo sauce

-In summer when I have a glut of home grown chillis or when I buy them reduced at the supermarket, I put them whole, in a container into the freezer to use at a later time. They are fine in a recipe where they will be cooked but because they soften slightly once they thaw they aren't as nice if used raw in a dish.

Spray your measuring cup with cooking spray when measuring out honey
Gail's Tip

-Not really a tip Fi, however it serves a purpose. My grandmother was always thrifty and when her first pair of rubber gloves got a whole in them, she cut the glove up into elastic bands. I have also do this.

Remove the seeds and membrane with a teaspoon when chopping chilli for less heat

Cheryl's Tip-

-I’m becoming very aware recently of just how effective plain old washing up liquid can be. Since you did your post on the Dawn cleaner, I’ve been using it, and it works well. In fact the other week I cleaned our bathroom with nothing but soap, vinegar, water and elbow grease in varying combinations! How brain washed have we been, being made to believe we needed 100 products to clean a home!

Out of baking paper? Line the baking tray with a butter wrapper 

Jenny O Tip-

-Another product I've found good is shampoo, to remove grimed-in body oils from things like collars or bras or hat sweatbands. After all, it's made to remove oil from hair and scalp! It's also a good way to use up "mistake" shampoo, you know the kind that you buy because your regular brand isn't available and it is wrong for your hair . . .

Elaine's Tips-

-Did you know that shampoo works great at taking soap scum off shower areas? 

-Fiona, I usually use a product here in the USA called Shout to remove stains like that, but sometimes I add Dawn just to make sure the oil stain is removed. I think the reason I grab the Shout is because it's in a handy spray bottle, so maybe I should put some dish washing detergent in a spray bottle. [smile] Thanks for time-tested tip.

Kathy's Tip-

-To clean the microwave place half a lemon in a bowl shallow bowl in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. You can easily wipe the walls and roof of the microwave then. The lemon can be a half used lemon so save the lemons that you have squeezed.

Got a hot tip you'd like to share, leave it in the comments and I will add it to the above readers tips.

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-Sunny Side Up Sunday 
Two Years Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week 
Three Years Ago-The Sound of Silence
Four Years Ago-What we ate this week

Recipes The World Forgot-The Bread Edition

Monday, 23 March 2020
Hello Dear Reader,

With a lot of people either forced to stay home or choosing to stay home I thought this little post might come in handy for anyone with a little more time on their hands and maybe thinking of having a go at making bread for the first time. I believe making bread is the gateway drug to living a simpler and more sustainable life. Imagine never having to rely on the supermarkets for you daily bread. Then, I would bet, that you could see other things that you could make to lessen your reliance on the supermarkets.

You might have a go at making yoghurt, or your own muesli, make a peg bag or cutlery wrap or even your own lunch bag. The possibilities are endless and just a click away with so many tutorials for everything you could imagine on Youtube.

I have used my Thermomix for a lot of these recipes but it is absolutely not essential, bread making has been going on a lot longer than the Thermomix has been around for. Just make sure you knead the dough for a good length of time, at least 10 minutes.

Here's a few bread recipes to inspire you-

How to Make a Sourdough Starter-The true gateway drug when starting to slow down and to start to curate your life from the ground up.

Sourdough-Three Ways-Ideas to make your sourdough taste even better

Breakfast Muffin Bread-Sliced and toasted, it tastes just like an English Muffin

Lazy Day Loaf-The softest bread ever plus you get a bonus chicken sandwich filling recipe

Fruit and Spice Loaf-Perfect for easter, you can shape the dough into hot cross buns. Plus or minus the cross.

Cottage Cheese Bread Rolls-Soft and delicious and they look fabulous too

The Easiest Bread You'll Ever Make-Yes, truly, whack in all the ingredients, knead, prove, shape and bake!

Hit me, what is your go to bread recipe that you know and trust?

Have a lovely day,

One Year Ago-What we bought, spent and ate this week
Two Years Ago-This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday 
Three Years Ago-No Blog Post Today
Four Years Ago-Inspiration